From 28 June to 2 July 2009, UNITAR teamed up with the Global Environmental Governance Project, a joint initiative of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the College of William and Mary, and the United Nations Environment Programme, in organizing the Global Environmental Governance Forum: Reflecting on the Past, Moving into the Future, Montreux, Switzerland.

Given the unsuccessful conclusion of consultations of the 63rd General Assembly on the institutional framework for the United Nations’ environment work in 2008, the development of new and visionary options to strengthen global environmental institutions has become more pertinent and timely than ever. Carlos Lopes, Executive Director of UNITAR points out that “the Forum has a great potential to revisit past visions and generate new knowledge relevant for developing a more effective and coherent international environmental governance architecture”. Mr. Lopes also announced that UNITAR will be pleased to build upon the momentum generated by the Forum and offer seminars for the diplomatic community on the subject in Geneva and New York in the fall of 2009.
The Global Environmental Governance Forum brought together past, present, and future architects of the environmental governance system to devise options for a blueprint for reform of the contemporary international environmental institutions, in light of the original vision for the system’s form and function. It seized a unique opportunity to learn directly from the individuals whose ideas and aspirations formed the international institutions dealing with the environment. Former and present Executive Directors of UNEP who participated include Mostafa Tolba, Maurice Strong, Klaus Toepfer and Achim Steiner. The outputs generated through the Forum are expected to make a constructive input to future international policy discussions to develop a more effective and coherent international environmental governance architecture.
For further information, please contact:
Maria Ivanova
Director, Global Environmental Governance Project
Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, New Haven, CT
At UNITAR, please contact:

Achim Halpaap
Associate Director, Training Department
Head, Environment Unit
Palais des Nations
1211 Geneva 10